Most important steps to “Getting Things Done”

I read David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, and I’m glad I did.  There are many, many useful tips and a fantastic system to be learned out of that book.  Here I want to share with you the most important things I learned to boost productivity and make time for the things you want to do!

Define the Next Step

Don’t say “I need to workout more” and just let that sit in the back of your head.  This is a very abstract goal and will lead to inaction.  Instead, say what is the next step you need to take in order to get this ‘goal’ DONE.  For example, “Set Schedule for going to the Gym” would be a bit more concrete and would lead to “Go to the gym at X hour of the day for 45 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”

The reason it is so important to DEFINE the next action to be taken is that it really makes the next step simpler.  You don’t have to stop and think, “what should I do to workout more?” next time you think about working out, you already defined your next step, GET TO THE GYM.  Maybe before you get there you have to define many smaller steps and get them done, such as “find a good workout plan for me to follow”, “buy a water bottle and gym clothes”, etc.  The point is that you have a clear plan with only actionable items, not ideas, to be DONE, and it’s very clear what you should do next.

Don’t keep things in your head

Most people, myself included, tend to keep a list of things they have to do, but in their heads.  The reason, they haven’t found a better system.  The problem with this is that we tend to forget things we are not focusing our attention in, which makes us less efficient.  You should know what I mean if you have ever gone to the Post Office and on the way back home you realize that you should have bought THE light bulb. The light bulb you need for the bathroom that you could have gotten at the store next door  from the post office.  If you had a good system in place with lists you could check such as “errands” you would have seen the item saying “BUY LIGHTBULB” and would have made better use of your time during the trip to the Post Office.

Another important reason to keep things in a system outside of our heads, a reliable system, is that when we are working on something we don’t get distracted by thoughts such as “am I forgetting something?” or “damn, I need to call X or Y person to figure out Z thing.”  If you have a good system in place that can capture everything that you currently keep in your head, and this system reminds you of the things you need to know, when you need to know them, you will be able to FOCUS on the task at hand. This will definitely allow you to be more efficient!  A person that is distracted takes twice as long to get the same task done, with twice as many mistakes, that someone who focuses.  So, work your system well organized and start working more efficiently!

There are lots of things to be learned from the book, Getting Things Done, and if anything I wrote here intrigues you and you would like to learn more about how to further implement it in your life, I refer you to the book.  It’s one of the best investments I’ve done.

Questions, Suggestions, and Comments are welcome!  Comment in this post and I will definitely read them all and answer when appropriate. 🙂

To a Happy and Productive Year, Decade, and Lifetime!

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